For the past 7 years, we at Richland, have diligently been transforming the learning methodology and landscape for our students, in order to provide them with the skill set, dispositions and competencies to lead them in the 21st Century. Visit our blog to see how we are transforming education in this century to prepare our students for tomorrow’s world.
Learning in the 21st Century is focused on the way we receive and transform information. This era which has been coined the Conceptual/Creative Age, focuses on skill development, citizenship, humanity and creative thinking. In his book, The “World is Flat”, Thomas Friedman observes that the first and most important ability you can develop to flourish in the 21st century is the ability to learn how to learn. The focus is not on adding more to the curriculum, but transforming it, it is about moving away from teaching to learning.
The child we are preparing for the future is one who; can think, create and problem solve, demonstrate mental flexibility –who plays with ideas ,connects learning and applies to authentic situations and be able to communicate these ideas in different ways. Tomorrow’s world needs “engaged thinkers, strong communicators, and ethical citizens who possess an entrepreneurial spirit.”Tony Wagner fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurial Centre at Harvard University, education expert and author of the ground-breaking book entitled, “Creating Innovators…the making of young people who will change the world”, provides a powerful position for developing an innovation driven economy. In profiling American innovators as part of his research, Mr. Wagner has identified a pattern of creative play during the childhood years which leads to deep seated interests, which in adolescent and adulthood years blossom into a deeper purpose for career and life goals. Play, passion and purpose: these are the forces that drive young innovators. According to our Sk teacher, Mrs. Daniel, her definition of play is, “being able to create something that has never been created before, nor will ever be created exactly the same, again. There are no wrong answers in play”. Essentially, Mr. Wagner, believes that cultures of innovation based on collaboration, interdisciplinary problem solving and intrinsic motivation, will provide us with a road map for creating the change makers of tomorrow. Mr. Wagner’s latest video on transforming education featuring some of the leading experts in education, show us why we must begin teaching children, from a very young age, how to think and how to show their thinking……this is creation, ingenuity and innovation.
[iframe src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/88923503″ width=”100%” height=”300″]
“Schools should cultivate students to become entrepreneurial, creative, to solve the problems we have. For example, to solve the massive unemployment problems we will have [in the near future]. Schools need to change to prepare our children to become global leaders, to bring social harmony, to help address the social injustice and equity problems, to help bring more opportunities to people who are less fortunate then themselves. For this to happen schools have to completely reform themselves, from curriculum and assessment and pedagogy, to redefine what it means to be a successful citizen considering the changes brought about by technology and globalisation. It is very sad for students [and schools] to simply pass a test, get an ‘A’. That is not sufficient. That is not enough. Students don’t go to school so that they can get an ‘A’ from a teacher. They are there to evolve into someone who can shoulder a larger responsibility to sustain the future of human civilisation. That is something really big. Have a big heart! The spiritual dimension of an education is very necessary.” (Professor Dr. Yong Zhao http://zhaolearning.com/2009/08/06/96/, ).As we begin a new year, we continue to reflect on our work as educators, continuously keeping in the forefront of our minds what children are learning, why they are learning it and how our students are learning it at a deeper level, acquiring the skills of this century.
The video below highlights what the world will look like by 2028 and what we must be doing as educators to prepare our students for that world. A must see.